Toward Performance-Based Transportation Safety Regulation

By: Marc Scribner, Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow

The bipartisan recognition that prescriptive safety regulations can inhibit both economic growth and the achievement of regulatory outcomes has remained fairly constant. However, this progress has been far from uniform at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

One mode largely left out of this trend has been freight rail. Recent actions by the Federal Railroad Administration highlight the need for continuing the kind of movement toward performance-based regulation we have seen for autos, pipelines, aircraft, trucks and passenger rail.

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